Staying safe at home

Home is where most fires occur.

Like workplaces and schools, our homes are protected by fire and smoke alarms. But unlike workplaces and schools, other common fire safety precautions – such as making sure these alarms work, making sure exits are not blocked, and practicing fire drills – are often forgotten at home.

Maybe this is not surprising because we feel safest when we are in our homes.

“Over the last year many of our residents have been spending more time at home as they adjust to working from home and children learning virtually,” said Adam Grant, Chief of Markham Fire and Emergency Services. “The home is where we are most vulnerable to experiencing a fire, as the majority of the fires we respond to in the City of Markham are in residential buildings.”

“As the underlying causes of these fires are often attributed to human behaviour, we would like to remind all residents that they can reduce the odds that a fire will occur and increase the odds that they will be able to escape if one does by taking some simple precautions.”

With most people spending time at home to stay safe from COVID-19, it is as important as ever to be vigilant and fire safe.

Remember to:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking and pay attention to what you are doing. Careless cooking is the leading cause of fire in Markham.
  • Smoke outside of the home and garage. Use a deep ash tray to dispose of all smoking materials.
  • Always blow out candles before leaving a room.
  • Never overload electrical outlets. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection, and do not run them under rugs. Learn more about electrical safety at home.

Make sure smoke alarms are installed and are working properly on every floor. This means testing them regularly and replacing them every 10 years.

Also, make a fire escape plan and practice it. This plan should include two ways out of your home – just in case one is blocked by fire. Remember to set a meeting spot for your family just in case you get separated.

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